Synopsis: This is a serving and passing exercise that constantly forces players to recognize and adapt to changing scenarios. From both a motor learning and communication perspective, this is very valuable for their development.

Age/Skill Level: This is a drill for intermediate and higher levels.

Requirements: 5 players, balls, a full court

Execution: Set up the players such that there are passers in left back (5) and middle back (6) on one side of the court, a target on the same side, with two servers on the other side in 1 and 5. The server in 1 serves to the passers. After the pass (or missed serve), the two passers change positions (flip) so the one in 5 moves to 6 and vice versa. A second serve comes from the server in 5. After that ball the players slide across (switch) such that the passer in 5 moves to 6 and the one in 6 moves to 1. They receive a second serve from the first server, then flip again so 6 to moves to 1 and 1 goes to 6. They get another ball from the server in 5, then switch back to their starting position to being the cycle again.

Flip-Switch volleyball drill

The next serve should happen as soon as the two players have moved to their next position to keep things moving. Run the drill for 2 minutes, then rotate. P1 becomes P2. P2 moves to Target. Target goes to serve from 5. The server in 5 move to serve from 1, and the server 1 one becomes P1. Five rotations will have each player go through all of the positions. That works out to a bit over 10 minutes when factoring in time for rotating.


  • You can change the length of each rotation, or you could go for some kind of target number of good passes.
  • You can place the servers however you like if you want to work on certain receiving angles.
  • Instead of the passers making their changes after a missed serve, you could have the server re-serve. Or, if you have the two servers in the same zone, the other server can be the re-serve.
  • If you have only 4 players, a coach could be the target.
  • If you have 6 players, you could add a second target to which the main one has to set the ball (keeping in mind this would slow the drill down).
  • You could potentially turn each rotation into a servers vs. passers game by scoring the serves and passes.

Additional Comments:

  • This is a good drill for working on passers having to communicate and pass seams since they are different each ball.
  • Servers are also faced with a constantly changing set of targets.
  • You can run two groupings of this drill on the same court without much trouble. In fact, it would likely help with ball circulation.
  • Note that if you are running timed rounds you should stop the clock if you want to provide player feedback during the drill.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

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